The World Series of Boxing began today, coincidentally and luckily timed with the continuing lovefest for Manny Pacquiao. AIBA, the global governing body for Olympic boxing, wanted to create a "new way forward" for their sport, and IMG was there to help.
My group's assignment was to develop the brand positioning and logo for the league* as well as a number of other elements, such as collateral and signage.
The league is meant to provide sustainability for the national boxing federations that make up AIBA, while attempting to recapture the "nobility" of boxing and to promote fairness in the sport.
By creating a city-based/team-based league, the WSB would upend the nature of boxing promotion. For instance, with team scoring, there would be more emphasis on different weight classes. In this scenario, matches that might traditionally be seen as undercards could be as dramatic as the main event.
More importantly, by creating a team-based league, boxers would be "required" to fight on a schedule. Currently, professional boxers can often pick and choose who and when to fight, leading to (sometimes) unrealistic W-L records (eg. 20-0 or 25-1). Some view that as an artificial path to stardom and inaccurate rankings. The WSB will change the public perception of losses: even the best fighters won't likely be "undefeated."
Using ICON Engineering, we pushed forward the brand idea for the WSB as "The Truth in Boxing." It works internally as a rallying cry, embodying the mission of the league. It also puts the league in opposition to other professional boxing organizations, which AIBA believes, simply cannot be as credible as the new WSB.
For the logo, we advocated a concept that evoked longevity, credibility and professional sports. It also helped to visualize a competitor choosing from our options, and deciding whether or not we would be harmed by their hypothetical choice. In the end, our recommended concept was selected.
* While the name is "World Series of Boxing," it is organized as a league; my group was not involved in league naming.